No service for you!

EA is shutting down online servers for its older and less popular games, such as The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth II, Sims Carnival, and a great number of sports titles for various systems. The full list and killswitch dates can be found over at Giant Bomb.

I don’t own or play any of these games; this all-consuming shutdown does not affect me.

And yet it does.

I’ve always been a single-player game kind of fella. Online gaming is something that I never thought I’d get into, and so I didn’t. A few times during college, after working out a lot of firewall kinks, I would play some Command & Conquer: Red Alert late at night with my best friend a few states away, but other than that…didn’t ever see the point. I also never had a gaming PC so-to-say or any consoles that thrived on online gaming, such as an Xbox at that time. Just a PlayStation 2, and I think you needed a special degree to get that hooked up to the Interwebz. There were, of course, a few games I would’ve loved to try playing online, namely Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal and Diablo II, but the stars were not meant to align.

So, how does server shutdowns for games I don’t even play affect me? It only makes me more bitter and cautious towards online gaming. I want games to last forever, and nowadays there’s a heavy focus on social gaming (hello, Facebook!)–and without actual people, there’s nothing to play. That kind of perspective is dangerous and insulting, especially for hardened RPG fanatics that have spent countless hours alone grinding characters to perfection. In fact, some games’ multiplayer trumps single-player campaigns in terms of length and content and love. Boo to that. I’ve dabbled in GTA IV‘s online activity and found it bland and annoying; so far, the only current online experience I’ve had that was pretty successful was in Borderlands. I purposely steer clear of online, multiplayer-heavy games, and with the constant threat of server shutdown, it seems, to me, a pointless thing to invest in.

Goodbye, EA Sports FIFA Manager 10. I hardly knew ya.

3 responses to “No service for you!

  1. I agree. It hurts more when you actually pay for the game, and the monthly fee only to have them shut the game down. It sort of puts all the grinding effort to waste. (I have a feeling the latest FF online game is going this way…)

  2. I don’t know if I’d use the word “pointless” myself. I mean, I’ve talked to a couple of MMO players who just didn’t understand how I can invest so much time into a RPG without having other people to interact with. They see that as a waste of time.

    Server shutdowns suck, but when you consider EA is kind of a unique case here (so many games, so many annual releases, etc) and that most games usually have a much better lifespan, I don’t know if it’s worth letting them bitter you to online gaming overall. While it is temporary, as long as you’re enjoying the experience, the time is well-invested in my opinion.

    Good post, though. It got me thinking about more than what you probably intended.

  3. As a huge fan of LOTR: BMFEII (I mean seriously, were they trying to have an outrageously long acronym?) this is really terrible news for me. The game was highly underrated considering its revolutionary console RTS controls.

    I agree with you that I wish all the games I buy didn’t have an arbitrary expiration date. Obviously, they don’t have unlimited server space and it’s easy to see the logic behind it — but still.

    It makes the little kid in me who wants everything his way a little pissed off.

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